I watched half of Episode 1 and a quarter of Episode 2 of Flack, the Britcom about women who handle celebrity scandals. The casual homophobia was too disconcerting: gay life as a sordid, sinister, dirty little secret. Especially in the opening tease: Screaming-queen football (soccer) player Patrick (Lloyd Everitt, photo from something else) is more concerned with being outed and losing his career than with the dying twink in his bedroom. Um...it's 2021. Britain has same-sex marriage and over 50 gay members of Parliament.
Patrick doesn't appear again until Episode 6, where he is about to marry a woman! Surely, I thought, this will be his redemption -- and the show's. He will decide to live an authentic life, come out, and be accepted by his teammates. It's 2021.
Scene 1: Robyn enters a sordid BDSM nightclub full of naked girls in cages and latex fetishists having three-ways. She tries a private room where a Samurai is whipping a tied-up sub, then finds the right room, where Patrick is being whipped by a leather master. He tries to cover: "I wasn't doing anything gay. I thought this was a normal bar." Gosh, that gay lifestyle is so darn sordid! I didn't know that gay guys like naked girls in cages, but apparently they're up for anything.
Scene 2: At work. Boss Caroline tells the staff that today is going to be super-busy. Footballer weddings are "the Mogadishu of the PR business. The guys will drink, they will fight, they will try to put their penises into everything. Our job is to keep their hijinks out of the papers."
Robyn gives her assistants, Melody and Eve, instructions: "Dress casually but not slutty, so you won't be touched. Faces in full view of the camera, in order of importance, starting with Royals and Olympic athletes."
Scene 3: They arrive at the mansion. Robyn tells Melody to call some more people, get A-listers here. Don't the people getting married usually decide who to invite?
Patrick wonders if a blue suit would be ok, or would it make him look too gay? Don't the people getting married usually decide on their outfits together?
Robyn gives him the rules: No drinking, drugs, or gay sex while the reporters are here. Once they clear out, "you can go back to being the Prince of Darkness." Anyone getting tired of the casual homophobia, raise their remote.
Scene 4: Patrick's teammate Gary (Kadiff Kirwan, who is gay in real life) asks for the ladies' help: his football career is ending due to an injury, and he needs another way to stay rich and famous. Robyn suggest that he announce that he's gay. His career is already over, so that's not a problem, and think of the publicity! Magazine covers, tv interviews, speaking engagements, a book deal, dinner at Buckingham Palace! Plus he'll be an inspiration to millions of gay kids who are afraid to come out (because they're watching your show?).
Gary: But I'm not gay.
Robyn: So what? Just do a sweaty photo shoot for Attitude and say you want to keep your private life private. You don't need to actually do anything sordid.
Scene 5: Robyn assigns Melody to find a "reverse beard," a gay guy to pretend to be Gary's boyfriend. Someone famous, but not as famous as Gary so he doesn't steal the spotlight. "And not too gay," Gary adds.
Melody suggests Jay Burns, star of Holiday Reprobates. Gay men as reprobates? Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse. He also got a colonoscopy on the air on Good Morning Britain. Whoops, there it is. Gay men like getting things shoved up their butts, har har.
Scene 6: Gary "comes out" to his teammates. Hostile stares. "But...you've seen us naked! A gay guy saw my penis! How humiliating!" Deon (Leander Vyvy) says "It took a lot of courage for you to say that. But it will take us a bit of time to get used to it, innit?"
Terry (Toby-Alexander-Smit) adds "Now that you mention it, it makes sense. You've always been a bit...um" (makes swishy gestures). Hey, what about screaming queen Patrick? Girlfriend could win RuPaul's drag race without wearing a dress.
Scene 7: Eve and Robyn discuss their problems with drugs and boyfriends. They see Gary breaking the news to his girlfriend and intervene (off camera). Robyn's boyfriend Sam arrives (Arinze Kene, photo from something else): "This is a bit posh, innit?" So you invite all of your pr people and their plus-ones to your wedding, along with the Royals and Olympians?
Tom, Eve's boyfriend, arrives (Marc Warren, photo from something else). Robyn gives him a longing look. Torn between two lovers, I get it. Let's go back to Patrick's coming out, which better happen in about five minutes.
Scene 8: Now Patrick wants to come out: "I want to be strong, and make a difference, and stuff." Gary: "Forget it. I thought of this scam first." Patrick: "But I'm really gay." Gary: "WHATTT???? But...you've seen me naked! A gay guy saw my penis! How humiliating!" Break to remind you that the actor playing Gary is gay, and knows how to read a script.
They argue. Robyn gets fed up: "Come out, stay in, get married, marry each other, I don't care! We're sacks of meat collecting shiny things to make us better than other sacks of meat! It's all fucking meaningless!" Ah, the human condition. I can't go on, I'll go on.
Scene 9: The wedding. The priest is reciting. Patrick and his bride facing each other. Everyone is tense with anticipation, me included. The moment of truth. Will Patrick vindicate himself? Will the show vindicate itself? There's only one answer, really. After all of this build-up, there is no other possible alternative. Patrick will say "Stop the wedding! I have something to tell you all..." Any minute now. Any minute...
More after the hunks.
FUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!! I usually disapprove of profanity, but in this case it's completely justified. I repeat: FUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!
There are still 23 minutes of this goddam horror show left, but it's all devoted to Robyn and Eve's problems. We see Patrick once more, partying with his buds. Oh, and Gaty goes through with the fake coming out, then throws up in disgust at having to pretend to be a goddam poof.
The episode was written by Satan...um. I mean Satan's minion Oliver Lansley.
I'm sorry it was on a streaming service. If I had a DVD, I could burn it.